Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton

Watch this entire Truly CA episode: Big Joy by filmmakers Stephen Silha,  Eric Slade and Dawn Logsdon. (Running Time: 53:52)

A key player in the artistic renaissance of San Francisco after World War II, James Broughton fathered a child with film critic Pauline Kael, wrote poetry alongside Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, received an award from Jean Cocteau at Cannes, and went on to push the boundaries of artistic expression and sexual liberation.

While celebrating the impact of Broughton’s art, Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton also explores his deeply intertwined creative and personal lives. For a man who joyfully embraced life and preached "follow your own weird," the repressive McCarthy era brought inner turmoil and even an attempt to "straighten himself out." Ultimately, Broughton's experimental films and poetry helped free both his own spirit and that of a new generation, and at the young age of 61, he met the love of his life.

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